March 23, 2000
NKU ADVANCES TO NCAA II TITLE GAME
Norse defeat Western Washington, 80-74, in Final Four
PINE BLUFF, Ark. - Junior forward Julie Cowens scored 19 points Thursday night as the Northern Kentucky University womens basketball team defeated Western Washington University, 80-74, in the NCAA Division II Final Four at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.
NKU, which extended its winning streak to 23 consecutive games, improved to 31-2. The Norse will meet North Dakota State University (28-3) for the NCAA Division II national championship game at 4:30 p.m. (EST) on Saturday. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Cowens made 8 of 10 shots from the field against Western Washington, and she connected on all three of her attempts from the free throw line. The Norse shot 50 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle by a 32-31 margin.
Junior guard Michele Tuchfarber added 15 points for NKU, and sophomore forward Michelle Cottrell scored 14 points. Freshman forward Kristin Polosky scored 10 points off the bench to spark NKU.
Western Washington (27-4) was led by Celeste Hill, who scored 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
NKU is seeking its first-ever national championship in any sport on Saturday. NKU is 0-1 all-time against North Dakota State. The two teams met in the championship game of the 1990 Perkins/NKU Classic, and NDSU posted a 68-48 victory.